General contractors and subcontractors in Idaho may address back charges in their contracts. Back charges describe costs that one party suffers because the other party to the contract failed to perform in some way. Bad workmanship or missed deadlines can trigger extra expenses, and a contract that covers such situations can define how to handle and pay for these problems. The contract, however, represents only one form of important documentation. Both parties to a contract could benefit if they keep track of work by recording and photographing construction activities.
Build problem-solving into the contract
A contract that does not have any language about back charges and what triggers them could leave both parties with unclear legal options. A commercial construction contractor does not have a specific law to cite that would force the payment of back charges. The contract must discuss back charges, and then the contractual terms would create a legal mechanism for potential enforcement.
Ideally, a contract would say that one party must notify the other party about dissatisfaction with work. A notification requirement gives someone a chance to fix mistakes. Contractual deadlines for making complaints and imposing back charges are useful as well. Time limits protect people from surprise bills after they thought a job had been completed satisfactorily. Overall, an opportunity to make things right means that everyone might avoid going to court.
Collect clear evidence
Pictures, texts and emails capture and date stamp information. A general contractor should use these options to document the problems in detail. The recorded details could justify the amount of back charges, but they also show the subcontractor what needs correction. Subcontractors may also protect themselves from unreasonable claims by photographing and documenting work as it is done.
A good faith effort to resolve a problem can get a project back on schedule. Unfortunately, expenses can escalate rapidly in the construction industry. At times like that, a contractor may need in-depth advice about commercial construction law.